K9999, pronounced as "K Four-Nine" (ケイフォーナイン Kei Fō Nain?), is a character in The King of Fighters series, who debuts as a member of the NESTS team in The King of Fighters 2001.

Development

His character design is heavily inspired by the character Tetsuo Shima from the 1988 animated film Akira (which was adapted from the manga of the same name). His name is a homage to a character in the anime, Armored Trooper Votoms.

He is voiced by Nozomu Sasaki, alluding further to his voice role as the aforementioned Tetsuo Shima (even reciting some of Tetsuo's lines from the movie for many of his battle quotes and having similar gestures).

Story

Angel and K9999 after NESTS downfall. Illustration by Hiroaki.

After the death of Krizalid and the disappearance of K', NESTS decided to comb their research for errors. K9999 became the "perfected" 9999th Kyo Kusanagi clone. Built from the ground up, K9999 wielded an exorbitant amount of power. The blue glove he wears helps him control his shapeshifting powers and keep them from going berserk. His main purpose was to dispatch the rogue creations that had escaped from NESTS's grasp. He apparently does not discover that he is a clone himself until after the destruction of the cartel.

While it is implied that Foxy is killed by him and Angel, this ending is considered non-canon. According to the second 2001 novel written by Akihiko Ureshino, he disappears after an encounter with K' and Kula alongside Angel. His whereabouts and fate are unknown. [1]

Personality

K9999 is considered to be a man not to be tampered with. He has a very short temper and is easily driven to violence. He hates K' with a passion, and considers him his ultimate rival. He also develops a rivalry with Kusanagi in The King of Fighters 2002, though this is non-canon. Angel is the only one he considers to be a friend.

Abilities

  • Pyrokinesis - K9999 can control fire, but his ability is quite limited in comparison to Kyo Kusanagi, Iori Yagami or even K'. He can only create fire, cause highly-heated gas to erupt from the ground in front of him, and attack with streams of fire in a slashing manner.
  • Limited Shapeshifting - K9999 can shapeshift his hair to resemble K's. K9999 can also shapeshift his clothes.
  • Psionic Shield - K9999 can create a moon-shaped shield of psychic energy.
  • Tentacle - K9999 can transform his right arm into a fleshy tentacle and fling it at his opponents.
  • Polymorphic Arm - K9999 can transform his right arm into an iron drill, a blade or a shotgun-like weapon.
  • Full Power Energy Attack - By using his full power, K9999 can release energy through the air causing damage to anyone nearby. This power is non-canon since it is exclusively used in The King of Fighters 2002, a Dream Match.

  • Motorcycle Driving - K9999 can be seen riding a motorcycle very well in the 2001 novel.

K9999 fights with his polymorphic arm. The arm can transform into claws, blades of different sizes and shapes, and into a shotgun. He knows some basic fighting techniques. All of his move names are quotes taken from the movie Akira, as well as mimicking several iconic stills from the said movie in his attack motions.

Music

  • NESTS: Ruler of the Dark - The King of Fighters 2001
  • Napolitan Trance - The King of Fighters 2002

Appearances

Controversy

Many of K9999's mannerisms, attacks, animations, and even lines of dialogue in The King of Fighters 2001 & 2002 directly comes from the anime film Akira, specifically from the character Tetsuo Shima, who K9999 was based upon, and even had the same voice actor, Nozomu Sasaki, to portray them both. Although the references in the games could be seen as a tribute to the anime film, it could also be seen as plagiarism. Possibly done to prevent a lawsuit case with [Studios], starting with The King of Fighters 2003, K9999 would be removed from the series roster, and would eventually be removed from any SNK official products altogether, with his final physical appearance in an SNK game being KOF X FATAL FURY.

SNK has expressed public disfavor for K9999 due to the explicitness of his tribute, such as:

Reports from those who have visited SNK have been told that there is an unspoken rule at the company that mentioning K9999 by name is strictly banned, and can only be mentioned either by non-descriptive terms (i.e., "the one replaced by Nameless"), or by censoring out his name, such was the case with an official tweet by The King of Fighters All Star's Japanese Twitter account when a fan asked if K9999 would appear in the mobile game.

Due to these factors, it is highly unlikely that K9999 will re-appear in any official future installments or products by SNK. However, despite the apparent disfavor of the character at SNK, many fans have expressed a desire to see K9999 return to the series in spite of the possible copyright conflict. Some fans have even expressed that SNK was being hypocritical with K9999, as many SNK characters in the past were directly inspired off of other popular anime characters, such as Benimaru being based off of Polnareff and Blue Mary being based off of Android 18.

During a Q&A session with Yasuyuki Oda at Gamescom 2016, a fan asked about K9999's current whereabouts. Oda answered, "Maybe one day we’ll find out what happened to Angel’s partner, K9999."[2]. This was the first time that K9999 was publicly mentioned by name since 2009 by an official SNK employee, which would mean that K9999 could possibly have a chance for to return to the series in the future, but according to a Facebook post about K9999 still being unmentionable at SNK headquarters in 2019, this still puts him and his place in the series in an uncertain future.

Trivia

  • Though K9999 does not appear in The King of Fighters Neowave, his data remains in the arcade version and can be selected using external cheat devices. Here, he uses Kyo's icon on the select screen and Kula's while in battle. In battle, his color palette is bugged, but is otherwise fully functional.
  • One of K9999's Desperation Attacks in 2001 and 2002 was him morphing his hand into a gun. In the American and European releases of those games, his gun arm was censored; changed to just his fist and the explosions.
  • K9999 is one of the very few characters in fighting game history to not have his cr.D or a crouching strongest normal as his standard sweep; his cr.C acts as one instead. Another notable example in SNK universe is Mr. Big.
  • His special intro against Kusanagi is yet another direct homage of the anime film Akira. Kusanagi's voice actor before KOF Sky Stage, Mitsuo Iwata, also voiced the character Shōtarō Kaneda, Tetsuo's nemesis and prior best friend.
  • In a 2005 poll made by SNK Playmore USA, he was voted as the seventh fan favorite character with a total of 156 votes.[citation needed]


See also

References

  1. The King of Fighters 2001 ~THE GODS THEMSELVES~. SNK, Akihiko Ureshino. 2002/2. ISBN 4-7577-0754-1.
  2. http://ryanjosephhart.com/blog/gamescom-exclusive-kof-xiv-qa-with-snk
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.